Fall 2016 - SA 356W D100

Ethnography and Qualitative Methods (SA) (4)

Class Number: 3376

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Mon, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 255.



An examination of qualitative field methods, including participant observation, interviewing, archival research, cross-cultural research, life histories, network analysis, mapping, and ethical problems of fieldwork. Writing.


Qualitative methods – ethnography, participant observation, and interviewing – are core research activities in sociocultural anthropology and sociology. This course is intended to give students the opportunity to learn how to employ these and other qualitative methods by engaging in a series of integrated research activities. This class outlines the basic tasks of qualitative field research. Students will learn how to formulate a fruitful question, work through personal and ethical dilemmas raised by field research, and record, analyze, and formally present qualitative findings. Students will have the opportunity to design a research project on a topic of their own choosing that they can undertake as an honours or independent study project.

SA 356W is time demanding class. All students will participate in a class ethnographic project. The project work will form the heart of the course and we will spend much time working through the various kinds of methodological, ethical and analytical questions that arise in the course of fieldwork. All class participants are expected contribute meaningfully to the collaborative research project and to adhere to the ethics protocols established and approved for the research. The course satisfies requirements for a Writing Intensive course.


  • Fieldnotes journal 25%
  • 4 research exercises 30%
  • Methods summaries of 3 journal articles (5% each) 15%
  • Attendance and constructive participation 5%
  • Contribution to the collaborative research project and presentation of results 10%
  • Research proposal 15%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04).  Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.    



Journal articles and book chapters available through CANVAS.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html